Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

I love making these dark chocolate dipped strawberries – they always look so elegant, as if you spent loads and loads of time on them.  In reality, they are such a cinch to make, it seems almost criminal.

When selecting your fruit, choose medium-sized berries for the best strawberry-to-chocolate ratio.  If you can find some with the long stems attached, so much the better, as they are the easiest to dip.  Pick the freshest berries you can find, fully ripened but without any bruising, and make sure they are completely dry before dipping, or your chocolate will not adhere properly.

Use your favorite, highest-quality semisweet chocolate bar.  Here, I’ve used Guittard (61% semisweet), which yields great results every time.

This recipe serves two to three people.  Plan on a serving size of about five berries per person if served alone, or two to three berries per person if served as part of a dessert course.

Note:  If you are making these for a crowd, instead of doubling (or quadrupling!) the recipe, I’ve found it is simplest to make them in batches, as an abundance of chocolate can be difficult to keep at the correct consistency at one time.  Prep all the strawberries in one pass, and leave your water simmering the entire time, adding the portions of chocolate and butter together in stages to coincide with the strawberry groups (and don’t forget to prep a few baking trays or platters instead of one).

Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Makes approximately 15 dipped strawberries, dependent upon size.

14 -16 ounces fresh whole strawberries, caps intact
4 – 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Rinse strawberries and pat completely dry. Gently gather stems and pull upward, so that each stem is facing away from the body of the strawberry.  Set aside.

Line a baking tray or platter with parchment.  Set aside.

On the stovetop, heat a small saucepan of water to simmering.  Place chopped chocolate and one tablespoon of the butter in a small, heatproof bowl.  Set the bowl on top of the simmering water and heat, stirring frequently, until chocolate is completely melted, adding more butter as necessary (up to 2 tablespoons) to achieve dipping consistency (chocolate should be smooth and shiny).  Remove from heat.

Grasp a strawberry by the cap or stem and dip into the chocolate, turning to coat evenly. Let excess chocolate drip off for a few seconds, then place on prepared tray.  Repeat with remaining strawberries until all are fully coated, stirring and reheating chocolate mixture as necessary.  Refrigerate tray, uncovered, for about two hours or until chocolate is set.

Strawberries can be stored in an airtight container lined with parchment and refrigerated. They are best eaten within 24 hours.

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